Prime Minister weighs in on Gilroy Usher’s comments and redistricting issue
Minister Gilroy Usher Senior has expressed upset over reports of the possibility of him losing his Port Loyola division. The minister issued a press release this week, saying that the Fort George division should be looked at, and not his area. He further griped about the fact that the Fort George Area Rep, Henry Charles Usher is overseeing the process as the PUP Chairman. It is a case where the minister feels jilted, and believes that he is being hoodwinked. Love News asked Prime Minister John Briceno to weigh in on the matter.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Well it’s unfortunate that Honorable Gilroy Usher made that release because as he well knows that we can’t interfere in that process. This is a process that’s completely controlled by the Elections and Boundaries Commission and we are on the Elections and Boundaries Commission and so is the opposition and then there is a subcommittee that is looking at the issue of re-registration- the redistricting and just like how we are in that committee, the UDP is also there, so they know everything that’s being done. So to ensure that we have to do it correctly as prescribed under the law. For Honorable Gilroy Usher to jump the gun and make these kinds of pronouncements is quite unfortunate because it hurts not only us as a party, and that we can be accused of interfering or something that we should not interfere. It starts to create more suspicion in the whole process and something that we cannot afford. When you look around the region, for instance Guatemala just had their presidential election. Over 17%, which is the majority of the votes issued voted blank or spoiled their ballot in effect saying as a protest vote and the one that came in second, Sandra Torres got I think about 15 plus percent. It shows that people are losing confidence in the system. We can’t go down that road. We have one of the most robust electoral systems in this whole region. I mean, I’m quite proud of what we have. When I see what happened in some of the Caribbean islands and other countries around us we are doing very well. So it is unfortunate that Honorable Gilroy Usher sent out such a release. The process is that committee will give its report to the Elections and Boundaries Commission then the Elections and Boundaries Commission will send that report to the House and then the House will take a vote on it. That’s the process so I don’t know, I think he’s totally confused.”